‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ Creator Dies From ALS

SpongeBob SquarePants

The creator of the Nickelodeon’s popular cartoon series “SpongeBob SquarePants,” Stephan Hillenburg died this past Monday, Nov. 26th, 2018. He was 57-year-old and battling Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), a progressing neurological deficit that affects cells in the brain along with the spinal cord, hindering a person’s motor abilities. He was diagnosed with ALS back in March of 2017.

Hillenburg could be considered a hero to generations of young adults and kids everywhere. His SpongeBob SquarePants character brought consistent spunk and laughter to the animation world.

After graduating from Humboldt State University in 1984 with a bachelor’s degree in Natural Resource Planning and Interpretation, with an emphasis on marine resources, Hillenburg became a marine biology teacher.

“His artistic talent and love of the sea and its creatures led him to write and illustrate stories as teaching tools” using characters that would later become the characters in the series, according to NBC News.

Hillenburg earned his degree in Experimental Animation from the “California Institute of Arts in Valencia and graduated in 1992 with a Masters of Fine Arts,” reports Fox News.

Nickelodeon had kind words to say to Fox News about Hillenburg and his effect on their network:

“He was a beloved friend and long-time creative partner to everyone at Nickelodeon, and our hearts go out to his entire family. Steve imbued ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ with a unique sense of humor and innocence that has brought joy to generations of kids and families everywhere. His utterly original characters and the world of Bikini Bottom will long stand as a reminder of the value of optimism, friendship and the limitless power of imagination.”

The first episode of “SpongeBob SquarePants” aired on Nickelodeon on May 1, 1999, and, since then, has aired 250 episodes. Its ability to capture the hearts of children and young adults this series has won the U.S. and British Emmy Awards, Annie Awards, ASCAP Awards. The cartoon is subtitled in more than 60 languages.

“The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie,” that was released in 2004 and accumulated over $140 million worldwide. It was also written, produced and directed by Hillenburg. The characters’ popularity carried into a squeal film as well as a Broadway musical, which had more than 320 showings.

His memory will live on in the hearts of every person who ever shared laughs with SpongeBob and Partick. Those people who wished they knew the secret formula to the Krabby Patty, will remember the laughs shared and the genuine childlike discoveries made watching his series. Hillenburg is a legend to legions of children and young adults and the Nickelodeon Network.

Written By Monet’ Goode
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware

Fox News: ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ creator Stephen Hillenburg dead at 57
NBC News: ‘SpongeBob Squarepants’ creator Stephen Hillenburg dies at 57
BuzzFeed News: Stephen Hillenburg, The Creator Of “SpongeBob SquarePants,” Has Died
The Hollywood Reporter: Stephen Hillenburg, Creator of ‘SpongeBob SquarePants,’ Dies at 57
ALS Association: About ALS

Featured Image Coursey of Anoop Kumar’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Top Image Courtesy of Clubodioso’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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